Conviction of Guilt
Scriptures: John 16:8-9 Romans 3:23 Isaiah 64:6 Ezekiel 33:13 Jeremiah 31:34
There is a medical condition called CIP, or Congenital Insensitivity to Pain. Someone who has this condition feels no pain at all. It is unimaginable what that can result in, just one danger is severe burns because you simply don’t feel the pain if you touch something hot. God has created pain sensitivity within us for our protection, a red flag if you like.
So it is with feeling guilt, the conviction of our sin.
Jesus said that Holy Spirit convicts, or absolutely convinces, the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgement. Of sin because the world doesn’t believe in Him, and that includes us before surrendering and coming into relationship with Him. Before believing in Christ we need to be convinced, persuaded, shown in graphic detail, that we are guilty of sin. We need to be made aware of our guilt, and Holy Spirit is the One who does this. He is the One who holds up the red flag and stops us in our tracks.
Guilt without redemption brings nothing but condemnation and shame, our instinct is to run and hide, or cover it up with bravado, refusing to accept responsibility. It’s what Adam and Eve did, they hid from God when He came to walk with them in the cool of the evening, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. And God knew, nothing is hidden from Him, ever, yet He still loved them, as He loves us.
And here is the wonder and amazing miracle that then happens. 2000 years later, God’s Son came to earth, pure and sinless, and He took the guilt of every person who had ever lived, was living then and would live in the future, upon Himself. He became sin for us, took the guilt upon Himself and paid for it in full. The verdict we all face is “Guilty”, but the penalty has been paid by Christ on our behalf.
We cannot escape our guilt, Paul said that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. What does “fall short” mean? It means we can’t reach the glory of God while we are blind to our guilt. Isaiah, Ezekiel both tell us that our own self-righteousness only serves to enhance our guilt, not take it away. It is a mountain we can never conquer in our own strength.
Our enemy would have us living in the shadow of our guilt, his weapon is shame, gut-wrenching, self-loathing shame, when we become aware of our guilt, telling us that we cannot escape its consequences. And he does all he can to drag us down into a pit of despair, to discourage us by constantly reminding us of who we were and what we have done. It doesn’t matter if you are guilty of physical murder or being angry without just cause, the penalty must be paid. Christ knew that and willingly took our guilt, and its subsequent shame, to the cross at Calvary.
If you, as a born again believer in Christ, were to go to God and remorsefully recite a whole list of your sins that you cannot get out of your mind, He would look at you in Love, in Grace, in Justice and truthfully say “I don’t remember”. Your guilt has been wiped away, washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb.
Prayer: Oh Abba Father, as we are convicted of our guilt may we straight away see the glorious Mercy and Grace that has paid the penalty for it. Let us know that we are free from guilt and shame through the precious Blood of Jesus, by the power of Holy Spirit Amen.